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10 thoughts on “The Red Pavilion

  1. says:

    As the old saying goes A friend in need is a friend indeed The honorable Judge Dee will learn this out very quickly to his great regret, when passing through the resort of Paradise Island from unpleasant duties in the Imperial Capital, Chang an now Xi an no Disneyland but notorious in seventh century China during the Tang Dynasty, A.D 668 Calling this an island is stretching it, mostly surrounded by a river though, an adult area for gambling houses, imbibing and brothels quite prosperous, everyone is making money, well most are, the magistrate here is the obese, fun loving, lethargic Lo Kwan choong Finding himself in a bit of a pickle, making a promise he can t keep, to Autumn Moon the exquisite courtesan, and flees hastily, after begging the good Dee for help to take over while attending vital business faraway, he should have kept on the road not stopping to see Lo The unenthusiastic able man has no choice, one little case his friend said pending , a routine suicide becomes a triple mystery going back thirty years, but are they murders or just suicides this is the puzzle how badly the uncomfortable Judge Dee desires to get home to Poo yang, and the peaceful atmosphere there Plots for power, ambushes from vicious gangs, boats colliding in the dark river, attempted seductions, an old lethal plague absolutely important in discovering the truth, all add to the unreal turmoil in the island With the assistance of trusted lieutenant Ma Loong, a lusty man also, he too gets involved what else a girl working in a house of ill repute Silver Fairy She s from his own village and extremely beautiful , he falls in love Even contemplates buying and marrying her, risking his friends teasing but not caring The boisterous festival of the Dead weeks long, is crowding the streets in Paradise Island, the people are joyful and drinking rather heavily while the celebrations continue the unhappy Dee is working The academic Lee Lien s death was it really by his own hand, suspects are plentiful and the beautiful Autumn Moon pays an unexpected visit to the Red Pavilion, the scene in the exact room of the hostel, where the blood occurred Only a man with the fortitude of the judge could remain unemotional looking at the semi nude woman Still he is not afraid of ghosts or sleeping there, and what about Feng Dai the warden here , is he a respectable person or another criminal A neglected crime novel which is than this, for people who like a good mystery and gain knowledge about a different culture You are immersed in the day to day living from an ancient era and still feel how civilization continues its progress or lack of, the climb up above the clouds to a better world, is not always in a straight line.

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  3. says:

    After the Dutch diplomat, orientalist and author Robert van Gulik 1910 1967 translated the Ming dynasty mystery novel Dee Goong An Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee English and had it published in Tokyo in 1949, it seems he was then on a mission he wanted to convince the Chinese that their mystery tradition was strong enough to stand against that of the Occident and to convince the West that it was overlooking a good thing It appears that he made at least some publicity for his view, since his Judge Dee series was quite successful both in the West and the East He translated some of the books into Chinese himself and arranged for them to be translated into Japanese, as well In carrying out his mission, van Gulik did than write his detective series with Judge Dee who is the investigating magistrate in many of the Chinese novels, irrespective of author as primary protagonist and with T ang dynasty China as the setting he also mined the Chinese literature for stories to tell and even adopted the structure of Dee Goong An by having three separate incidents of murder to solve, at least in this The Red Pavilion 1961 He was counting on his Chinese audience to recognize the stories and to see in the stories success in the West that they could be proud of their literature I don t ordinarily review popular fiction when I read it, but the circumstances surrounding this series are sufficiently unusual to write a few paragraphs It would appear that others share this opinion, for The Red Pavilion and further volumes of the series are published by no less than the University of Chicago Press Not to fear these are not dusty academic tomes.Circumstances, not careful planning, saw to it that I read this book first It may or may not be representative of the series Frankly, Dee Goong An had a great deal flavor than this book does The characters in the former were much boldly drawn, and the marked distance in time, culture and attitude of Dee Goong An was foreshortened in this book In the original, Judge Dee was adventuresome, cantankerous and arrogant and worried about his neck than in van Gulik s book And the quotidian torture and executions of the Chinese tradition are suppressed here The drama of contention, of struggle, is largely absent, whereas it was central in Dee Goong An. What saves this book from itself are three of the secondary characters, Ma Joong, the Shrimp and the Crab, who wryly and amusingly comment on their betters and their doings from the peanut gallery As a mystery story, this one is not bad, but I think that a pure genre reader would be disappointed I acquired a few books from this series, but I ll only report on them if they have to offer than does The Red Pavilion Recall that China was at another of its historical low points, having emerged from under the Japanese boot heel to be torn again by civil war And the ultimate winners of that civil war did not have a picnic in mind when they finally got the reins of power in their hands Rating

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  5. says:

    Judge Dee, magistrate of Poo yang, eagerly heads home after an unpleasant hearing in the capital surrounding some chicanery and illicit sex at a Buddhist monastery in the earlier The Chinese Bell Murders Dee finds himself unexpectedly thrust into the role of investigator into an alleged suicide in the pleasure district of Paradise Island in the neighboring district Paradise Island served as the Las Vegas of its day, with plenty of gambling, drinking and prostitution The contrast between the anything goes attitude of the denizens of Paradise Island and the moralizing, strait laced Judge Dee sets up quite a few amusing scenes Judge Lo Kwan Choong, the magistrate of the neighboring district of Chin hwa, returns to add comic spice to The Red Pavilion He also provides the reason for Dee s need to investigate in the first place The womanizing sybarite Magistrate Lo first appeared in The Chinese Bell Murders, the second Judge Dee novel released in the United States although not the second chronologically As befits the irresponsible and careless Lo, he dashes off from Pleasure Island to the city of Chin hwa to avoid some unpleasantness, and Lo asks Judge Dee to finish off the investigation into the suicide of a brilliant young scholar named Lee Lien, who had just been appointed a member of the Imperial Academy and had everything to live for Author Robert van Gulik crafts The Red Pavilion as a locked door mystery, which, at first, throws Judge Dee off the scent It s only after yet another murder that Dee realizes that Lee s death was no suicide.Although resentful at Lo s fecklessness, the long suffering, meticulous Dee ignores Lo s suggestion that he just sign off on the suicide and looks into that matter During the several days that Judge Dee and his trusty lieutenant Ma Joong investigate, they not only learn the truth about Lee s death but also resolve the murder of the beautiful but cruel courtesan Autumn Moon and yet another murder committed 30 years earlier In those two cases, the victims, like Lee, died behind locked doors inside the self same Red Pavilion Readers won t guess the murderer until the penultimate chapter The Red Pavilion also shows a sweet side to the normally devil may care Ma Joong To say anything would spoil the novel.For those new to the series, author Robert van Gulik, a Dutch diplomat, linguist and Asian scholar, relied on a real life Chinese magistrate during the T ang Dynasty named Ti Jen chieh for his Judge Dee novels Simplifying the magistrate s name to Judge Dee Jen djieh, van Gulik first introduced the West to Judge Dee in Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee, first published in 1949 although not translated into English until 1976.

  6. says:

    After The Haunted Monastery, this one is quite possibly my favorite We find our hero, Tang dynasty magistrate Dee on the pleasure capital called Paradise Island, where, as usual, he must deal with murder mayhem As usual, one crime leads to the uncovering of others, and I love to watch the magistrate pick up and unravel every strand of mystery It is also cool to read these stories begin to get a bit of a feel for everyday life in ancient China 9 in the series, so don t start with this one Start with the first one Recommended for people who want something different in their mystery reading also, I think anyone who likes historical mystery should enjoy this series as well.

  7. says:

    Un giorno, mentre controllavo le offerte del mese su un noto portale dove si possono scaricare eBook, noto tra i titoli in promozione una serie di titoli di Robert van Gulik Ora, a costo di sembrarvi un po barbona come diciamo dalle mie parti , devo dire che quando vedo a 1,99 dei romanzi dei quali non so nulla ma che potrebbero interessarmi, vengo su Goodreads a fare un controllo delle recensioni e, se sono positive, decido di dare loro una possibilit Questo romanzo aveva recensioni molto positive una media superiore a 4 su un migliaio di voti non un campione di poco conto.Cos , mi sono ritrovata nel Kindle questo giallo scritto da un diplomatico olandese che, a quanto pare, ha iniziato la sua carriera letteraria traducendo un testo del diciassettesimo secolo dal mandarino all olandese, nel quale si faceva menzione di un delitto risolto da questo leggendario giudice Dee o forse sarebbe stato meglio Di , personaggio storico effettivamente vissuto da qualche parte durante la dinastia Tang Questo Dee diventa il protagonista di tutta una serie di gialli ambientati nello Xiang imperiale, con tanto di disegni a corredo del testo, ispirati per alle illustrazioni che circolavano durante la dinastia Ming in essi non sono presenti Gesuiti euclidei vestiti da bonzi, per Del tutto ignara di quel che avrei trovato, devo ammettere che invece sono stata presa tantissimo dal giallo, che un po Agatha Christie un po Kill Bill, un po Philo Vance e parecchio wuxia con un tocco di ironia parecchio moderna Anzi proprio il tono piuttosto moderno che mi ha colpito Per assurdo, andando a raccontare le vicende di questi personaggi vissuti in una Cina passata e lontana, un po come averli messi in un pezzo d ambra restano l belli vivi, non soffrono nemmeno molto del passare del tempo van Gulik morto a fine anni 60 Il giallo in s non nemmeno male Ho capito chi era il colpevole a met del tutto, ma questo colpa del fatto che all ora di pranzo guardo la Signora in Giallo da quando avevo 8 anni Sono cose che segnano Ormai, anzi, ci rinuncio proprio arrivo prima al colpevole in quasi qualunque giallo tradizionale Al prossimo inizier direttamente dalla fine, giusto per vedere l effetto che fa.

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  9. says:

    Il giudice Dee deve vedersela con ben 3 casi di suicidio sospetto avvenuti tutti in una stanza chiamata Il Padiglione Scarlatto , all interno di un isola famosa per i suoi divertimenti e le sue cortigiane Ennesimo romanzo di alta classe per Van Gulik, dove le riflessioni acute del giudice riusciranno a trovare il bandolo della matassa in mezzo a false testimonianze e mezze verit.